The Bloomfield school district will receive an additional $500,000 in state aid – a 2.5 percent increase compared to last year’s figures, according to the New Jersey Department of Education.
The school district will get just shy of $20.7 million for the 2013-14 school year; last year the district got $20.2 million. While district leaders will welcome the addition, how much it can help with 100 teachers on the chopping block is uncertain.
John Shanagher, president of the Bloomfield Education Association, the teachers’ union, has said those kinds of teacher layoffs will “decimate” the schools and lead to classroom sizes of 40 students. Five and six administration jobs, three to six secretarial jobs, and a “large chunk of technology staff” were also facing elimination.
At its meeting last Tuesday, the Board of Education voted 7-to-1 against introducing the $95.1 million operating budget. The proposed tax levy was $66.5 million.
The budget woes are blamed on rising salaries and health care costs, and more than a $120 million loss in town ratables during the past few years, Interim Business Administrator James Verbist has said.
There will be a special budget meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the district’s administration building, 155 Broad St.
The teachers’ union is pleased a controversial program has been scrapped to get university graduates into secondary school teaching in South Australia after just six weeks of training.
The course had been designed to address staff shortages in design and technology, but authorities struggled to find appropriate candidates.
The Education Department had hoped to recruit five graduates with an interest in information technology who could be fast-tracked into teaching jobs, especially for regional areas.
Despite almost 70 applicants, the program is now over.
In a statement, the Department said applicants did not meet requirements, including going to preferred school locations in country areas.
David Smith of the Australian Education Union said it had feared the graduates would be poorly prepared for the classroom.
“We think it was short-sighted. When you put somebody in there who is not at all trained in that area, except for a very short spell of teacher training, then the dangers are going to be much more and it would be terrible thing if there were injuries to students or teachers themselves,” he said.
Jan Paterson of the SA Secondary Principals Association urged the Department to do more homework on recruiting teachers for areas of need.
“We do need to look at different ways to attract people into these jobs and to ensure that they get really good support,” she said.
The Education Department has now funnelled more than $300,000 from the program into 18-month degree courses.
Principals and teachers will hold a conference in Adelaide later in the week where they will discuss alternative pathways into the teaching profession.
MAYOR BLOOMBERG released his $70.1 billion 2014 executive budget Tuesday, threatening to slash 2,500 teaching positions through attrition.
Hizzoner’s budget also puts 20 fire companies that have been repeatedly spared the budget ax back on the chopping block but no layoffs of city workers are planned and no tax increases are in the works.
As he announced plans to slash teachers in the city’s 1,700 public schools, he pinned the blame squarely on the teachers union for failing to reach a deal with the city on a new way to evaluate teachers.
The city already lost more than $400 million in state and federal aid this year when it failed to reach a teacher evaluation deal with the union ahead of Gov. Cuomo’s Jan. 17 deadline and could lose hundreds of millions more if the deal remains elusive for months to come.
The direct result will be the elimination of 700 teaching positions through attrition this year and another 1,800 starting in September, Bloomberg said.
No layoffs are planned.
The city was also expecting $190 million less than the $790 million originally predicted from the sale of taxi medallions. The deal to add cabs to the city’s fleet has been tied up in court because of taxi industry lawsuits.
The budget reduces “controllable” spending by 1.1% compared to the prior year while maintaining city services, Bloomberg crowed.
“The financial plan presented today continues to protect critical services and foster economic growth, while also taking the responsible, budget-minded actions that have resulted in a more efficient city government,” he said.
The city is also expecting to face $4.5 billion in Sandy-related expenses, including $1.4 billion spent on emergency response and $3.1 billion on repairs. The funds will be reimbursed by the federal government, Bloomberg said.
City Council must approve the preliminary budget before it can take effect July 1, but the task could be complicated by the 2013 elections.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a mayoral frontrunner, has vowed to fight teacher reductions and other members of Council expressed outrage at the mayor’s plans.
“This ‘my way or the highway’ stuff has got to stop,” said Councilman Lew Fiddler (D-Brooklyn). “With increases in class size and draconian cuts to after school programs, kids are paying the biggest price for this. The adults in the room need to learn the value of compromise and the mayor needs to accept the fact that father doesn’t always know best.”
Bloomberg, presenting his last preliminary budget as mayor, said the city would also cut 700,000 hours of after-school programs and would slash school aides and supplies like textbooks and pencils.
Doug Turetsky, of the city’s Independent Budget Office, said the next mayor may have to confront an even larger deficit created by expired labor contracts.
The conduct of West Virginia’s largest teachers kinship is heedful of preparation remodel skeleton that engage changeable some-more control to informal bodies.
Judy Hale, boss of a state section of a American Federation of Teachers, pronounced Monday she was confident about some ideas state Board of Education President Wade Linger recently presented to a organisation of legislators.
But she balked during a thought of seeking Regional Educational Service Agencies, ordinarily referred to as RESAs, to yield teachers with veteran development.
“What they do with veteran development, they come out and they give we a PowerPoint. And they review a PowerPoint to you,” Hale told Linger and legislators.
There are 8 such agencies widespread opposite a state. In theory, a agencies are to coordinate services between counties within their areas and also with a state Department of Education.
In practice, a services supposing count on a segment itself, according to a statewide review of a preparation system.
Released final January, a review endorsed some-more than 100 changes auditors believed could save a state income while assisting schools and a dialect duty well and effectively. A vast partial of augmenting a potency of a dialect involves changeable some-more shortcoming to RESAs.
“The miss of a statewide, concurrent formulation routine for a RESAs creates a complement that fosters autonomy though allows a RESAs to work in isolation, infrequently to a wreckage of a whole system,” a review states.
The review goes on to contend a extensive devise of what is approaching of RESAs would assistance a dialect and county propagandize systems.
In a response to a audit, a state house agrees it could enhance a duties of a RESAs. Compared to a Charleston-based department, a agencies are in a good position to yield veteran growth for teachers, Linger pronounced Monday after a meeting.
In Hale’s opinion, RESA crew don’t know a training element or what teachers need to learn. Teachers themselves are improved positioned to yield that training, she said.
“You have a cadre of clergyman leaders in a building; they know that Mrs. Jones can’t hoop her classroom or needs work on classroom management,” Hale told a legislative group.
“You know that during a internal level. You don’t know that during a RESA level,” she continued.
Linger thinks that’s since a RESA have never unequivocally been sufficient saved or staffed to perform a pursuit approaching of them. He pronounced he understands Hale and others competence have had “less than stellar” practice with a agencies, though relocating competent people into those agencies will help. He also disputes a thought that RESAs have unsuccessful to perform opposite a board.
There are people who know how to sight teachers during a department, Hale said. But changeable those employees from a dialect to a RESA does zero to assuage another regard lifted in a audit: too many administrators.
“Moving members of a state dialect from a state dialect to a RESA is not elucidate a problem of tip heaviness; it’s creation it worse. You’re formulating a incomparable (level) of bureaucracy,” Hale pronounced during a meeting.
Linger disagreed. Moving people from a dialect to an organisation next a dialect is a clarification of expelling top-heaviness, he said.
“When we use a tenure like ‘top heavy,’ we assume it to meant Charleston. We’re holding these things out of Charleston and relocating them out into a field. They are by clarification not during a top,” Linger pronounced Tuesday in a phone interview.
Both Hale and Linger pronounced they appreciated conference from one another during a meeting.
They spoke during a second assembly of a organisation of member of a state House of Delegates who are study a audit. House Speaker Rick Thompson, D-Wayne, pronounced he combined a organisation so it could offer as a apparatus to legislators once a legislative event starts.
The event starts Feb. 13. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin mentioned preparation remodel Monday in a debate following his coronation and is approaching to benefaction something to a Legislature early in a session.
Contact author Dave Boucher during 304-348-4843 or david.bouc…@dailymail.com. Follow him during www.twitter.com/Dave_Boucher1.
Mayor Bloomberg has used his weekly radio appearance recently to charge the UFT with holding up teacher evaluation talks. Today, he didn’t mention the union at all.
Instead, it was Chancellor Dennis Walcott, who joined Bloomberg on the John Gambling Show, who cast blame on the union and its president, Michael Mulgrew, for blowing Walcott’s self-imposed deadline to make a deal.
“It’s really tough to negotiate when the UFT walks away from the table,” Walcott said. “Mr. Mulgrew has instructed his negotiators that they shouldn’t negotiate with us, at all — they shouldn’t even talk to us on other issues. … That’s tough to really operate from.”
He added, “We don’t have a clue what they want.”
That wasn’t quite true. Alarmed by a spate of reports from teachers about improper observations, Mulgrew did halt evaluation talks this week. But he set a clear condition for them to resume: an agreement on how new evaluations would be rolled out. He invited Walcott to negotiate about implementation, but no talks have yet taken place.
- With different views, city and union resume evaluation talks
March 6, 2012
- Citing “abuses,” teachers union says it is wearying on eval talks
October 20, 2011
- Walcott outlines cuts that could take place without an eval deal
December 5, 2012
- Mulgrew: Mayor’s tenure tone not conducive to evaluation talks
July 29, 2011
- UFT calls off evaluation talks until city addresses rollout issues
December 19, 2012
The city and the union are both under pressure to agree on a new evaluation system by Jan. 17 or lose state school aid, a threat Gov. Andrew Cuomo reiterated this week. To give state officials time to review their plan, Walcott had said he wanted to settle with the United Federation of Teachers by Dec. 21 — today.
At stake for the city is about $250 million, a tally that Bloomberg and Walcott have both warned could cause painful budget cuts to schools and other city services. Bloomberg sounded less concerned today, even as he suggested that he is not expecting an agreement.
“We said, if we don’t have it by then, we can still keep negotiating, but we’re going to start assuming in our budget preparations … that we will not have the money,” he said. “Maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised and have to reverse it. I’d rather we do that than find that we didn’t prepare.”
He and Walcott each left the door open for the city to turn down any deal it is offered. A portion of the broadcast was obscured by a loud electronic sound, but it resumed as Bloomberg said, ”We’re not going to sell our students down the road for some money.”
Walcott followed quickly with, “We’re not going to do something just for $250 million.”
Bloomberg gave a clue about what would cause him to favor an evaluation system when Gambling noted that more than 600 districts across the state have submitted teacher evaluation plans to the state already.
“I don’t know whether any of those evaluation plans evaluate and do anything meaningful and I don’t know whether they any of them are operable for us,” Bloomberg said. “We’ve got to worry about us.”
As a bonus, he offered his definition of what makes a good teacher:
“Quality teachers are teachers who know how to maintain discipline in their classroom, know how to deal with the issues facing today’s kids … , know how to deal with kids from families that are very different than they were when I went to school, and know how to deal with new subject matter, and know how to work with other teachers and their managers, the principals – it’s a very complex thing and it’s not a job for everybody.”
Now imagine that the last ship passed in 1999.
That was the last time Italy held open examinations to fill teaching positions in its public schools. So when the exams opened this week, it set off something of a nationwide frenzy among Italy’s despairing underemployed educators, drawing more than 321,000 hopefuls for just about 11,500 openings.
The ratios said as much about the dim job prospects facing Italians with unemployment now topping 11 percent — and nearly 14 percent for people age 24 to 35 — as they did about the rigidities and turf-mindedness of a public education sector that has for years been dented by hiring freezes and job cuts.
The teaching exam is supposed to take place every three years. But the Education Ministry has continued to postpone the costly process, while aspiring teachers and unions have fumed. Hiring teachers on temporary contracts, in the meantime, has cost the state less than hiring full-time employees, critics charge.
Ministry officials say this year’s exam was intended to right past wrongs and allow a new generation of teachers to enter a teaching work force whose average age is 50, one of the oldest in Europe, freezing out aspiring young applicants. As it is, the average age of candidates this year was more than 38.
What is clear, critics said, is that the current complicated system for allotting teaching jobs — which differentiates between permanent jobs and annual, or even shorter, contracts that keep many in precarious employment conditions at low wages — does not work.
“It essentially kills young people who are kept on a leash year after year,” said Marco Paolo Nigi, secretary general of the autonomous teachers’ union, Snals-Confsal. “It’s shameful. And it’s a system we’re trying to change.”
While the exam opened the market to pre-qualified job-seekers, its return left few people happy, becoming instead an occasion for fresh scrutiny of an education and hiring system that many like Mr. Nigi agree is in desperate need of reform.
The test itself — the first to involve a computer — is designed to assess candidates’ logic, comprehension, math and linguistic abilities. Questions ranged from “what happens when you press control, shift, alt on a computer” to choosing between “would and could” in the English language portion. Some criticized the exam for ignoring abilities like passion or love of children that cannot be measured.
“There are better ways to determine merit,” said Romina De Cesaris, 37, a history and philosophy teacher who has been working on temporary contract in Pescara, on the Adriatic coast, for the past 10 years. “This mega-quiz is offensive for those of us who have teaching backgrounds. You can pass a quiz and still not have the didactic competence to teach students.”
Some education experts seemed to agree. While the teacher-to-student ratio in Italy is one of the most favorable in Europe, that has not necessarily translated into better education, according to Andreas Schleicher, the special adviser on education to the head of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, which groups 34 countries in Europe and beyond.
While the country has improved in recent years, “in terms of student performance, Italy is below the O.E.C.D. norm,” he said. “You have a large number of teachers, but they are poorly paid and have relatively low levels of training. Other systems prioritize the quality of teachers over the size of the classes.”
Nonetheless, on Monday and Tuesday aspiring teachers sat down to answer 50 questions in 50 minutes, the first phase of a lengthy process that will land fewer than one in 30 a teaching job. Of the more than 260,000 candidates who took the test, fewer than 34 percent could answer 35 of the 50 questions correctly, the threshold to pass.
WATERVLIET — Travis Hogan ended a recent school day in his sweats, rolling around a mat in a damp basement.
Wrestling makes Hogan, 16, want to come to Watervliet High School, to keep his grades up. But for the 2013-14 school year, wrestling and every other sport and extracurricular activity in the district is facing elimination as the district struggles with a fiscal cliff of its own.
“It’s an incentive to come to school. It builds your character as a person,” Hogan said. “It makes me want to do better in school.”
Watervliet Superintendent Lori Caplan said her district may be among the first in the state to become educationally and financially insolvent. Caplan said Watervliet has no savings, no ability to raise the taxes it needs to maintain its current programs and may not be able to meet state standards within the next two years if she has to cut more teachers, which seems all but inevitable.
There is a “No Whining” sign outside Caplan’s office, and she recognizes that dozens of districts across New York face a similarly dire situation. Still, she said so much is on the chopping block as they begin to put next year’s budget together that it is hard to imagine how Watervliet will be able to keep any programs or activities that are not mandated by the state.
“I can’t see how we can survive without cutting,” she said. “I literally can’t give them a meaningful education if I have to cut one more person.”
Caplan said she is concerned that there is little wiggle room other than large staff cuts. Watervliet has just 10,000 residents, a median household income of $41,000 and an annual school budget of $23.1 million. More than two-thirds of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, a key poverty indicator. The teachers union already agreed to a one-year pay freeze, she said, and a larger share of health care costs.
And though the district is relatively small, with just 1,400 students, it represents the shape of things to come for many of New York’s public schools in the next few years as they struggle to contain rising employee costs, a loss of state aid and a property tax cap.
At the end of last school year, the district made some cuts, canceling bowling and tennis, eliminating about 20 teachers, teacher assistants, coaches, custodians and an administrator. Bus routes were extended, and the school building was closed on Sundays. These days, such trimming has become routine.
Next year, however, Caplan says Watervliet will enter a new era, one in which every class that graduates after 2013 will get a worse education than the one that came before it. She expects an increased dropout rate and lower student performance on standardized test scores.
Without some sort of intervention or change to the state aid funding formula, Watervliet will likely lose some of the following in the 2013-14 school year and even more in the following academic year: advanced placement classes; gym, art, music and anything that is not a required core class; sports teams; and after-school clubs. Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten are also on the chopping block.
Taxpayers are already strained to their limit, she said. Fifty-six percent of the district’s property is tax-exempt because Watervliet Arsenal, a federal facility, is located there. Even in the unlikely event taxpayers supported a budget that exceeds the property tax cap, Caplan said she couldn’t raise enough tax revenue to support teaching jobs. Each percentage increase in the tax levy earns the district about $61,000 and the average teaching job costs the district $75,000 in salary and benefits.
In the spring, heavy equipment will roll in to the district as part of a $20 million capital improvement project. Workers will replace 50-year-old windows in the historic part of the junior and senior high school and rip up its asbestos floors. Next to the gleaming new tennis courts, which no longer have a team to play on them after the district cut it last year, the workers will install a new track and football field.
Caplan does not want them to do this. She wants to use the money to save teaching jobs, but the money is earmarked for capital improvements by state law and cannot be touched for any other purpose. She said that inflexibility is indicative of flawed state rules that weigh down school districts. Caplan has grown weary of advocacy and demonstrations for funding at the Capitol. She said nothing will help schools — other than a dramatic funding increase she knows is not coming — more than true mandate relief, which can be a heavy political lift.
The state Education Department has warned lawmakers that school districts will soon begin to become insolvent because they can’t legally declare bankruptcy. However, they say real change rests with state lawmakers, who have done little to address the problem in recent years. Hundreds of public education boosters descended on the Capitol Wednesday to protest cuts, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo responded by saying “You can’t get water out of a stone.”
Assemblyman Jack McEneny said he’d like to see large school districts run out of their local Board of Cooperative Education Services. He said efforts to consolidate school districts usually fail at the ballot box and that it is not an effective way to achieve savings. He said individual districts should keep their unique schools and identities but centralize their administrations and reduce higher-level jobs while keeping employees at the bottom of the pay scale. like teachers.
“The way to do efficiencies of scale is to cut the top, not the bottom,” he said. “People like the bottom.”
Watervliet won’t be alone. Sixty school districts across the state reported that they won’t be able to pay their bills within two years, according to a survey by the New York State School Superintendents released last month. That’s 9 percent of the state’s total districts and the number of districts will jump to 40 percent within the next four years.
So, with the possibility that the school won’t have a team to run on it, Watervliet’s new track will be in pristine shape for years to come.
firstname.lastname@example.org • 518-454-5080 • @518Schools
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SIOUX FALLS (AP) — South Dakota voters have rejected Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s plan to give bonuses to top teachers, phase out tenure and recruit candidates for critical teaching jobs.
The Legislature approved the Republican governor’s proposal earlier this year, but the state’s main teachers union, the South Dakota Education Association, collected enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot for a public vote.
Daugaard argues the measure will improve student achievement. But opponents contend it could hurt the quality of education because teachers might stop collaborating to help students as they compete for bonus money.
The plan would have given annual $5,000 bonuses to the top 20 percent of teachers in each school district and provided scholarships and bonuses to recruit teachers in critical fields.
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10 October 2012
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The teachers will help children with basic skills such as numeracy
Plans to provide employment for newly qualified teachers in Northern Ireland have been unveiled.
A scheme will aim to link graduate teachers with jobs at both primary and secondary school level.
A total of six “signature” projects worth £26m were announced by the NI executive, which it says will create more than 300 jobs.
The Ulster Teachers’ Union said it was a “welcome initiative” that would help to raise standards.
A scheme to create health intervention posts was also announced.
More than 230 graduate teachers and health workers will be engaged over the next two years.
The scheme will provide two-year contracts for 150 recently graduated teachers, who have been unable to find permanent work in English and Maths at secondary level.
Another 80 jobs will be available for recent graduate teachers at primary level. There will be a particular focus on helping children struggling with basic numeracy and literacy.
First Minister Peter Robinson said: “I am pleased to announce this £26m additional investment for six significant programmes.
“Without even the most basic educational qualifications many of our young people find it a struggle to get a job and create a better life.
“The additional support being provided for literacy and numeracy will tackle this problem head-on and help our young people obtain the qualifications to find work.
Continue reading the main story
Only 12% of teachers in schools at the moment are under the age of 30 and yet we have something like 4,000 young teachers who have qualified in recent years with no jobs”
Avril Hall Callaghan
Ulster Teachers’ Union
“It will also provide 230 young unemployed teachers with an opportunity to get teaching experience while contributing to raising educational achievement.”
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said: “Today’s announcement is about working together in new ways across departments and in partnership with the community, businesses and wider society.
“The aim is to make a tangible difference, particularly for our children and young people, over the next two years.
“It underscores the importance that the entire executive places on addressing the needs of all of our citizens – in particular those suffering disadvantage and those who have been left on the margins of society.”
Avril Hall Callaghan, from the Ulster Teachers’ Union, welcomed the jobs boost, saying: “We’re just delighted that there can be a scheme that will give employment to young teachers because at present we have an aging teaching workforce.
“Only 12% of teachers in schools at the moment are under the age of 30 and yet we have something like 4,000 young teachers who have qualified in recent years with no jobs.”
She said the idea of the scheme was to “free up” places for young teachers by allowing people who are older to exit the teaching profession.
Ms Hall Callaghan said the scheme was about “raising standards, reinvigorating the workforce and targeting areas of social disadvantage”.
Another initiative announced is a scheme involving health intervention staff working in deprived areas with around 1,200 families who need help across Northern Ireland.
It could provide employment for up to an additional 50 health workers.
Funding has also been made available to set up 20 new children’s “nurture units” in addition to the seven already being rolled out across all areas.
Nurture units offer support, help and guidance to targeted pupils within the school environment.
SAN JOSE — Nearly seven weeks into the school year, the Alum Rock Union School District will eliminate 18 teaching jobs, move some students to different classes and schools, and create 25 combination classes, as it trims spending to conform to enrollment.
The student population is down 211 students from projections, and more than 500 students down from this time last year, interim Superintendent Stephen Fiss said. The changes will save $1.2 million and affect all of the district’s 23 elementary schools, he said.
The district is notifying parents of changes this week, and all the targeted students and teachers will be moved by Oct. 15, he said.
Student enrollment has dropped across the board, with more of the decline in primary grades, Fiss said.
Because the district relies heavily on state funding, which is awarded based on student attendance, when enrollment falls so does revenue.
The bulk of the jobs eliminated, 13, are positions the district has left vacant. Five other classes that are being dissolved have been staffed by substitutes, who will be let go. Two more teaching jobs technically will be erased from the district’s general-fund ledger, but the teachers and classes will be paid from a different funding pool, Fiss said.
Administrators worked with the teachers union for several weeks to realign classes with enrollment, this year at 12,300 students. The time lag is due to the district moving carefully. “We don’t
want to move students and create combination classes unnecessarily,” Fiss said.
The district has been hit by fewer births within its East San Jose borders, more families with children moving out than moving in, and the steady growth of charter schools in the district and nearby.
“When you have 20 elementary schools and some mobility in the district, it’s sometimes hard to project enrollment precisely,” said Jocelyn Merz, president of the Alum Rock Educators Association.
Other than adjusting classes, she said, “it’s the smoothest start to a school year and the most positive in many years.”
The district previously has moved teachers, students and classes about this time of the year, to adjust for fluctuating enrollment, she said. And the district often notified families on a Friday that their child would change classes on the following Monday.
The neighboring Franklin-McKinley School District, which also serves a large poor student population, moved nearly 200 students a few weeks ago, Superintendent John Porter said. But unlike Alum Rock, enrollment in Franklin-McKinley is growing about 2 percent a year, and this year kindergarten enrollment is at an all-time high — 140 more students than expected, Porter said. The district provides busing for students transferred away from their neighborhood school.
This year, Fiss said, because future funding is so uncertain, the district is minding the budget carefully. “There aren’t a lot of extra dollars around,” he said.
And with revenue dependent on tax initiatives on the November ballot, “We have to continue to monitor our budget and staffing,” he said. With every fiscal decision the district makes, compared to past years, “the impact is more significant.”
Contact Sharon Noguchi at 408-271-3775. Follow her at Twitter.com/NoguchiOnK12.